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First look inside new psychiatric unit that serves Huddersfield area

The Unity Centre has a ‘place of safety’ for those who have suffered a mental health crisis

The Unity Centre based at Fieldhead Hospital in Wakefield.(Image: UGC HDE)

A new mental health centre has opened that will treat patients from across Kirklees.

The Unity Centre, which is based at Fieldhead Hospital in Wakefield, opened last week – a major milestone in a £17m scheme to transform local mental health care.

With four separate wards for men, women, the elderly and those in need of intensive care, the acute adult mental health centre has locks on the doors but is described as ‘non-secure.’

The first patients were transferred from the hospital’s Stanley male adult acute mental health ward and the Walton psychiatric intensive care ward last week.

The Unity Centre based at Fieldhead Hospital in Wakefield.(Image: UGC HDE)

A new Section 136 suite, which is a ‘place of safety’ where police bring people in crisis for assessment, is also now open.

Tim Mellard, practice governance coach at the South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This building is a multi-million pound investment by the trust and highlights our commitment to the local area and providing patients with high quality care.

“Everyone loves the new centre, our service users are benefitting from state-of-the-art therapeutic areas, en-suite bathrooms and vastly improved relaxation areas to help them on their journey to recovery.”

The centre, which has open spaces and natural light, has many innovative features such as unique observation windows.

The windows, which staff use to look into bedrooms without needing to go inside, transform into photos of local landmarks at the turn of a key.

The windows on the doors, which staff use to look into bedrooms, transform into photos of local landmarks at the turn of a key.(Image: UGC HDE)

Patients from across the trust’s area, including Kirklees and Calderdale, will be treated at the modern purpose-built facilities, which will be fully completed next year.

The development includes the demolition of the Chantry, Trinity and Priory Units and the services offered by the three units brought under one roof, along with the refurbishment of the Newhaven Unit.

Coming in the next 12 months is the main entrance/visitor centre and the Nostell female ward.

The Walton, Stanley and Nostell wards are now accredited by the Royal College of Psychiatrists. The Accreditation for Inpatient Mental Health Services (AIMS) recognises high standards of organisation and care.

The Unity Centre was built by the South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s contractor Interserve. The project was funded entirely using money from the trust’s reserves and is not tied into any maintenance contracts.

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